Free sanitary wear for rural Hwange girls

Source: Free sanitary wear for rural Hwange girls | Sunday News (local news)

Fairness Moyana in Hwange
MORE than 100 rural girls from Mizpah in Hwange have received sanitary wear from three young women who are working towards promoting good menstrual hygiene among disadvantaged girls.

The cost of sanitary pads has been a major issue among women hence Miss Lethubuhle Ndlovu, Miss Melissa Kwidini and Miss Aquino Wendy Ndlovu, all 24, sourced the pads through their own initiatives to support the rural girls. Sanitary pads cost between $100 and $200, an amount most rural girls cannot afford.

“We were touched by the plight of the girls, mostly in the rural areas, some of who couldn’t afford to buy pads. It really touched me to learn that some girls were exposing themselves to health risks by using unhygienic methods such as old rags and newspapers. This in turn lowers their self-esteem,” said Miss Wendy Ndlovu during the handover ceremony in Hwange last week.

The event which was organised under the banner of Leo’s Club of Lwendulu featured group discussions on menstrual health management through sharing of experiences with the aim of breaking stereotyping and taboos associated with periods.

“We also held sister-to-sister discussions where we interacted around the subject in order to find ways to break down taboos. Things such as girls are dirty and therefore should not be allowed to cook or carry salt. We believe a girl or boy child should be raised with a gender consciousness of their needs. We are trying to remove all stigma that make girls recoil and lose self-esteem. So this was not just a donation event but an awareness campaign on menstrual health hygiene, “ said Miss Kwidini.

A 15-year-old girl who was among the beneficiaries said there was a need to continue supporting girls in rural areas with basic hygiene tools such as pads.

“We come from disadvantaged households where our parents cannot afford to buy pads for us so we end up using old rags or newspapers. We also miss classes out of fear of staining our clothes since the makeshift pads are not 100 percent secure. So we are grateful to our sisters for this donation which will make a difference. We also learnt that we don’t have to be ashamed of our periods as we have been made to believe.”

The girls who received the donation ranged from 12 to 19 years.